Toyota executive Hamp arrested in Japan on suspected painkiller-delivery violation

TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp.’s head of public relations, an American and its first female top executive, was arrested Thursday on a suspected violation of Japan’s drug laws for sending a painkiller through the mail, Tokyo police said.

Julie Hamp, who was appointed managing officer and chief communications officer for Toyota in April, told police she did not think she had imported an illegal substance, a spokesman for Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police Department said.

“Toyota has been made aware of Ms. Hamp’s arrest, but has no further facts in light of the ongoing investigation by the authorities,” Toyota said in a statement. “We are confident, however, that once the investigation is complete, it will be revealed that there was no intention by Ms. Hamp to violate any law.”

The police spokesman said Oxycodone was sent via international mail from the U.S. to Tokyo’s Narita Airport. The package was mailed June 8 from the U.S. and intercepted by customs agents at the airport on June 11, he said.

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